4 March 2022

Position paper Afera statement on UPM strike


The adhesive tape value chain calls for parties to resolve dispute at UPM paper mills urgently to avoid further disruption of supply chains

Afera, the European adhesive tape association, expresses strong concern about the impact of the continued dispute between UPM and Paperiliitto, the Finnish paper workers labour union, which resulted in a labour strike since January 1 and was recently announced to last until at least April 2, possibly even longer.

The labour strike results in a shortage of paper-based supplies for the manufacture of adhesive tape products, including paper carriers and paper release liners. The supply of these materials was already tight, affected by the general disruptions in the supply chain, and the continued dispute aggravates the situation even further.

Europe produces and uses 8.7 Billion square meters of adhesive tape yearly, of which a large proportion use a paper backing or incorporate a paper-based release liner. These tapes are used in a wide array of sectors, including packaging, construction, electronics and vehicle manufacturing, among others.

The strike has already caused delays in the supply chain of raw materials for adhesive tapes. If the strike is further extended, it could lead to disruption of the supply of adhesive tapes, causing severe damage to the European economic recovery, impacting not only everyday aspects like logistics, manufacturing and construction projects, but also long-term European initiatives like the energy transition, the Renovation Wave and the overarching goals of the European Green Deal.

Afera requests UPM and Paperiliitto to urgently resolve their dispute, taking careful consideration of the European implications of this prolonged issue.

Afera consists of 120 members in 20 different countries, covering the complete value chain of the adhesive tape industry. Afera members represent more than 80% of the European tape volume produced.


The Hague, The Netherlands – 3 March 2022